A handout from the Online Information Series
Copyright (c) 2002, Jolene M. Morris, All Rights Reserved


ASCII Codes & the Character Map

Outlook Express does not have a feature to insert symbols, but sometimes you need to do just that--insert a symbol. This handout describes three ways you can insert a symbol: using the ASCII codes, using Windows Character Map, and copying pre-made symbols.

ASCII Codes

The following chart shows the symbols that can be inserted as ASCII codes into any Windows program. To enter the symbol, hold down the ALT key and type the four-digit number on the numerical keypad. When you release the ALT key, you will see the symbol in your Outlook Express message (or in any other Windows program you are using):

0126    ~ 0127     0128    0129    0130     0131   
0132     0133    0134    0135    0136     0137   
0138    0139    0140    0141    0142    0143   
0144    0145    0146    0147    0148    0149    
0150    0151    0152    0153    0154    0155    
0156    0157    0158    0159    0160      0161   
0162    0163    0164    0165    0166     0167   
0168    0169    0170    0171    0172    0173   
0174    0175    0176    0177    0178     0179    
0180     0181    0182    0183    0184    0185    
0186    0187    0188    0189    0190    0191   
0192    0193    0194    0195    0196    0197   
0198    0199    0200    0201    0202    0203   
0204     0205    0206    0207     0208     0209   
0210    0211    0212    0213    0214     0215   
0216     0217    0218    0219     0220     0221   
0222     0223    0224    0225     0226    0227   
0228     0229    0230    0231     0232     0233   
0234    0235    0236    0237     0238    0239   
0240    0241    0242    0243    0244    0245   
0246    0247    0248    0249     0250    0251    
0252    0253    0254    0255       

 

Windows Character Map

Windows comes with an accessory program called the Character Map. You can find it in the START menu in program accessories, or you can type charmap in the RUN field of the START menu. The Character Map lists all the symbols for all the fonts you have installed in your computer. If you are going to insert a character from the Character Map into Outlook Express, stay with the fonts that come with a standard install of Windows--otherwise, others may not be able to read the symbol.

To use a symbol from the Character Map, click on the desired symbol then click the Select button. This places the symbol in the field called "Characters to copy." When you have a symbol in the "Characters to copy" field, the Copy button will be available. Click the Copy button to copy the character to the Windows clipboard. In Outlook Express (or any other Windows program), press CTRL-V to paste the clipboard symbol to the message.

Note that some of the symbols in the Character Map are not ASCII character symbols; instead, they are Unicode symbols. When you try to send an Outlook Express message with a Unicode symbol in it, you will get a message that Unicode can't be seen by all receivers. If you know that the receiver is also using Outlook Express (as in class newsgroups), click "AS IS."

If you are using Windows XP, The Character Map allows you to group the symbols. As such, you can see all the mathematics symbols or all the Greek characters available to you. Use the "Group by" drop-down list to select the desired symbol set. In Windows XP, you can also search for a symbol by its name such as a "fraction" or the "integral" symbol.

In all versions of the Character Map, you can create your own Unicode symbols. If you are interested in doing this, search the Web for information on the Character Map Editor (eudcedit.exe).

Copying Pre-made Symbols

The third way I will suggest to insert symbols and special formatting into Outlook Express isn't as elegant as the other two, but it works just as well. I have created a small HTML file that I keep stored on my desktop. In that file, it has several of the symbols and formatting codes I need when I type (especially mathematics) in Outlook Express. When I am responding to e-mail, I will keep this HTML file open. Then when I need a symbol not available directly in Outlook Express, I will copy the symbol from the HTML file and paste it into Outlook Express. Here is what that special HTML file contains:

     ⅓  ⅔  ⅛  ⅜  ⅝  ⅞  

←  ↑  →  ↓  ↔  ↕  ↨

 

 ASCII 0177       ASCII 0215

  ASCII 0247     ASCII 0133

  ASCII 0151  

∂  ∆  ∏  ∑  −  ∕  ∙  √   θ  π 

∞  ∟  ∩  ∫  ≈  ≠  ≡  ≤  ≥

 []   #ffcccc
 []   #ffccff  []   #ccccff  []   #ccffff
 []   #ccffcc  []   #ffffcc  []   #ffcc99  []   #ffff99
 []   #ccff99  []   #99ff99  []   #99ffcc  []   #99ffff
 []   #99ccff  []   #9999ff  []   #ff99cc  []   #cc99ff
 []   #ff99ff  []   #ff9999 strikeout superscript for
exponents:  2 3

 

 


Copyright (c) 2002, Jolene M. Morris, All Rights Reserved